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SHAME! Video Shows Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Attempting To Touch His Domestic Help

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I think misogynistic politicians are a global phenomenon. Maybe men who are on the verge of joining politics get together in some remote part of the world and have an extensive workshop: How to be a sexist pig 101. I think we focus so much on Indian politicians who shame us and pass regressive comments that we sometimes forget that this happens all around the world. Of course, that doesn’t make it okay. It just means every country has to work that much harder to elect better people into office. Maybe next time we choose men who aren’t misogynistic and highly inappropriate with women. Someone unlike the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. You see, he has recently come under the scanner for trying to touch his domestic helper inappropriately during his birthday celebration. And guess what? This isn’t the first time Duerte has been called out for his overt sexism. Surprise, surprise!

In a video that has recently gone viral like wildfire, the Filipino president, Rodrigo Duterte can be seen trying to touch his domestic helper inappropriately during his 76th birthday celebrations. The woman in question brought him a small cake while the President sat for a meal with his family members and in a seemingly joking manner, Duterte attempted to touch her lower body. Though she dodged the attempt with a smile on her face, it’s still very creepy and disgusting.

Of course, the President’s office is doing as much damage control as possible but their defence seems very weak. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing that Rodrigo Duterte’s actions had no “malice” as it was a simple display of his sense of humour. Roque also argued that Duterte’s actions didn’t mean anything because his wife was sitting right there. He said, “Now what you’re saying about the supposed inappropriate touching, she has been their house helper for a long time. You know that the President is a joker but there is no malice in that because Ma’am Honeylet was there. If there is someone who should complain, it is their house helper. That’s it.”

Also Read: Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte, Puts His Foot In His Mouth Again, Says Women Are Responsible For Men Ageing Quickly. Or Maybe Men Age Because Of All That Sexism

So, let me get this straight. Just because his wife was at the same table means his inappropriate behaviour is somehow nullified? Also, how long before men like Duterte understand that touching women inappropriately is never funny.

When Roque was asked if people were wrong to call Duterte out over his attempt to touch his domestic help, he said that they can’t control people who want to criticize the president on his birthday. This defence just keeps getting better. Roque said, “The President has no control over those criticizing him, that’s expected. If you ask whether it was wrong or right, the context is that the President has a close relationship with them, he was only joking around on his birthday so there’s nothing wrong with that. But regardless of the truth, the President’s critics will not stop. That’s just it. It’s not bad, it’s not wrong. That’s expected of them.”

There are other ways to joke around that don’t include lewd behaviour. Duterte attempted to touch her and she promptly moved away. That’s not a joke and despite what Duterte’s spokesperson is saying, it’s problematic on every level. However, you can’t expect men like him to change their ways.

As I said earlier, this isn’t the first time Duterte has been called out for such lewd and sexist behaviour. According to reports, earlier, he has received criticisms for his comments such as wanting to shoot the vagina of female rebels and multiple rape jokes. Duterte has also admitted to touching a maid’s private parts while she was asleep. Not to mention, in 2018, he kissed a Filipino worker in South Korea in public. So, there is no excusing him for trying to touch his domestic help. Men like him haven’t given us any reason to offer them a benefit of the doubt.

This is very shameful.

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